Q & A

27 Things You Never Knew About Me with Sally Anderson

Sally Anderson answers our burning questions about Pilates, life, and a love affair with Star Trek.

1. Where are you from, and where do you live now?

I was born in Sydney, but my family was living on a farm in the country at the time, and they travelled in to stay with my grandparents when it was time for my birth. Dad had a degree in agriculture and managed farms over for the ten or so years of my life. I now live in Sydney, but I am still a little bit country and a little bit city!

2. When did you first start practicing Pilates?

The late 1980’s when I did my first session with Rael Isacowitz. And BOOM, I was hooked! Rael was Dean of Dance at the MacDonald College in Sydney at the time – yep, he gets around – and I took my poor ruptured ankle along for some rehab...what I got was a mind-blowing whole body slam dunk Pilates experience.

3. What’s the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned through your practice?

To appreciate what you have and work for what you want.

4. What’s the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned through your teaching?

How important self-responsibility is.

For me, taking responsibility for getting things right or wrong (it happens!..) and adjusting course accordingly; to also watching clients soar who take responsibility for their practice as opposed to those who don’t or can’t. We have to find ways to help both.

5. If you could be doing anything else besides Pilates, what would you be doing?

Running a theatre company or producing shows. I miss a bit of the old showbiz action behind the scenes.

Sally leading the first Aussie Pilates Day on Sydney Harbour in 2011.

6. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

I’m pretty happy with where I am … but if I could “beam me” anywhere, I wouldn’t say no to swimming at the Amalfi Coast most days.

7. What’s the most distant/exotic place Pilates has ever taken you?

Based in Australia, we’re distant from most places in the world. So let’s see, most exotic...Asia, South Africa, New Zealand, a few Teasers in the Vatican.. does that rate as exotic?

I might have to come back a little closer to home and mention the gorgeous Northern Territory in Australia. It’s an exotic mix of crocodiles, hot steamy tropical weather and the indigenous culture of our country. Definitely an amazing place off the beaten track, that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting for Pilates training.

Sally in her Teaser at the replica Trevi Fountain in Vegas

8. What would you say to your younger self in 10 words or less?

Go hard! So many great things are going to happen!

9. If you could do one Pilates move for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Pelvic Curls / Bridging...and I probably will. It solves a multitude of body needs every day, and I always feel better after doing a set.

10. Who is your favorite person to practice with?

Practice...Me. My time. The same goes for shuffling (my version of jogging); it’s my thinking time.

11. What’s your favorite Pilates quote?

There are so many gems amongst the Pilates quotes, but I do love this one as it tends to describe what sets apart the philosophy of how Pilates differs to other exercises. For me, Pilates is Pilates when it is done with precision and concentration (the Principles of Pilates!).

“Concentrate on the correct movement each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and lose all vital benefits.”

12. Who would you dedicate your first book to and what would you say?

Funny you should ask...I have a book in process and it will be dedicated to The Elders of the Pilates Method. The elders really kept the Method alive to get to us, imbued it with their own varied expertise, and from where I sit, it’s pretty clear they worked damn hard each and every day to continue the legacy.

13. Pilates with Music or No Music?

Decision to make on a daily basis, but generally, I like easy background music or no music .. I don’t think I could do Pilates to a beat or fit it to music, but I like some groovy sound in the background.

14. What’s on your Spotify or Pilates workout playlist?

I love Spotify. I love to pick playlists and see what unfolds. I gravitate towards R’n’B, soul, and retro playlists. I play a lot of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s playlists, and lately have been into ‘Sweet Soul Chill’, ‘70’s Roadtrip’ and an Aussie fave (and Pilates devotee) Ian Moss.

15. If you could meet Joseph Pilates in person, what would you say?

Thank you.

16. When was the last time you attended a Pilates class or had a session?

Yesterday afternoon.

17. What advice do you have for a first time Pilates teacher?

Don’t rush. It’s a lifelong affair.

18. How do you define success?

Happiness and healthiness. It’s what you get when everything comes together.

19. What do you fear most?

Poor health.

20. If there were a movie about your life, what would it be entitled and who would play you?

I love this question but it’s so hard! Ummm...

No idea of a title but could I have Blake Lively play me, please?! ?

21. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I’m a Trekkie. From about "Star Trek: Next Generation" onwards .. Jean Luc Picard and Captain Janeaway are my true heroes. ;)

22. If life gives you lemons, what do you do with them?

Squeeze them, and drink the juice with vodka.

23. Where or how do you like to spend most of your time?

Outside, open spaces. Maybe it’s my country upbringing. Any of my studios or spaces have to have big open windows, light, air, space. But also home – I’m a true Cancerian – home is where the heart is. And yes, home is open plan with lots of light and air ;)

24. What’s your favorite journey?

I’m pretty happy to travel most places but hard to beat Italy for the culture, food, ocean, lifestyle. I really love Australia too though and am so thankful that I get to experience a lot of it.

25. Favorite book?

Too many! I love books; I’m a fan of a good thriller. We have quite a library built into our corridor upstairs, and it has a hugely eclectic selection. Sorry, though, I just can’t pick one because it wouldn’t be fair to the other books. ;)

26. Favorite movie?

Again, there are so many, I can’t give just one. Let's go with any "Star Trek" movie after 1985 – particularly JJ Abrams first "Star Trek" movie; "The Godfather," "All That Jazz," "Little Miss Sunshine." That sort of outlines my eclectic tastes.

27. What’s your hidden talent? Will you show us?

Sally dancing an Irish Jig!

Maybe should remain hidden...Highland dancing...I do a mean Highland Fling and Sword Dance. When I learned Highland we also learned the Sailors Hornpipe, Dutch Waltz Clog, and the Irish Jig. I know them all and can still do a fair version of them – well, in my own opinion!

Want more Sally? Take a class with her!


Love this and love her! Nice to learn more about the teachers and fellow Trekkies. Your dancing picture looks like you are just floating in the air!

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